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tv   This Week in Defense  CBS  September 5, 2010 8:30am-9:00am EDT

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welcome to this week in testifies news. i want to wish everybody a very, very happy labor day weekend. our one and only guest today is general norton schwartz, the 19th chief of staff of the united states air force who is now midway through his four- year assignment. he's the first transport pilot to become the top officer taking charge after his predecessor was fired. he's now trying to reinvasion rate the most powerful air force, even as he cuts the budget to meet pentagon targets. he has made a priority of restoring luster to his service's nuclear enterprise, accelerating delivery reconaissance aircraft to the war zone and shedding older planes to make way future new ones. with nearly 555 aircraft the u.s. air force is getting older and smaller and a time when its missions are expanding. general schwartz, welcome to the show. >> good morning. >> so let's start off so let's start off with
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combat operations in iraq. they've been going down with great fanfare this week and afghanistan the operation is increasing. historically, the air force has gotten busier what is the load and the pace on the air force right now? >> we will have about 6,000 or so people less in iraq. and we have come down about 9,000 in afghanistan. and we have increased our presentation at the about the thousand plus level. so we've had a balance. weave cocome down in iraq and we've come up some in afghanistan. and the tempo is about the same. with respect to iraq, the primary purpose for our involvement going forward will be to offer protection to the 50,000 or so u.s. forces which remain to offer support to our iraqi allies and very importantly to offer the training for our partner and iraqi air force that we're
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working so hard to mature. >> how long do you think before the iraqi air force will be able to stand on its own? >> in many ways they are right now. in the transport realm and so on, they're doing quite well. when it comes to insuring sovereignty, that is down its road. but they're becoming a multi- fasted organization and our commitment to see that through. >> are you stretched to thin to handle another insurgent weather north korea or iran? >> i don't think so. we have a very strong national guard and reserve force which maintains its righting on a daily basis. so the bottom line is we currently have about 30,000 or so air you men in the gulf area with the numbers that i
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explained within iraq and afghanistan. if we have to do something else, we can accomplish that. >> over the past few years, the air force has come under pressure be to increase the surveillance. and the goal is 65 continuous or bits over the war zone. is that a stable goal sore it a moving target? >> we will be at 50, 24/7 or bits at the end of the fiscal year 2011. and we have a mandate to go to 65 by the end of one. whether -- 13. whether we arrive at 65 will depend on what the circumstances are certainly new iraq and afghanistan and elsewhere. i do not see us expanding beyond 65 in any case simply was we don't have the manpower to support it. >> how many people are associated with that right now?
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>> we have about 100en 50 plus people -- we have about 150 plus people for each or get. 18 of the mt1 or bits and global hawk as well. >> they are pulling down enormous amounts of data. how are you managing with this load of information because this war is about getting the right information to the right person at the right time? >> no question. and that is one of our beauties of our on ground information system. we have five of these centers that, one in european and the pacific and one in the central command area. but the central point is that this is multi-disciplinary and multi-intelligence. and we infuse the data and
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shoot them back out with the networks that we have at our disposal. while this works for now. the reality is we cannot continue to essentially manualize the data that comes off the surveillance platforms. we need to take advantage of the new technology. some is used on sports programming today, to cue important information for our analysts to look at rather than observing the data stream continuously. >> how soon before you have that? >> within years, i think, within one or two years. we have pilots underway now and we'll have more widespread use of those in due course. >> army had to dramatically reshape itself because of the counter insurgentsy of iraq and afghanistan. what have you had to do to
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reinvent itself? >> here's the case and the best example of that is the intelligence program. this is one indication of the adaptation. we have used other platforms that we use nontraditional surveillance, including fighter aircraft. we put targeting pods on bombers to become close aircraft. and these kinds of adaptation, both technically and mechanically many terms of hard ware and in terms of the processing for the data, command and control, clearly, i think we have adapted perhaps not as visibly at our army teammates. >> and airmen are doing solider jobs for the time being? >> they have come down with the
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deminishing level of effort in iraq and increeked some in afghanistan. but they're done overall. i don't apologize for doing what is necessary while we're engaged in a fight in both locations. but the bottom line is they're coming down and the army will adapt to to minimize the requirement from assistance from us in the navy. >> we'll be back to talk about futurer bombers and surveillance plans. you're watching this week in defense news.
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we are back with general nor to be we're back with general norton schwartz, chief of staff. let's start with the goals.
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you already loss a series of programs. the they've i didn't considering closing some second fleets and marine corps may lose the expedition they're in find vehicle. what are some of the things that you can cut in toward to make some of those goals? >> i don't want to be too definitive about this. the ultimate decisions have not been taken. but in general, withinst things that we're looking hard at is flattening our management headquarters. and that's particularly true where we have more than one headquarters at one location. the question is why does that make sense with the pressures that we face? additionally, there are some installation sport matters. so that is possible that we could centralize that activity rather than in a distributing way that we do that work. >> you consolidated f44s for
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example? >> a case in point, five locations was too many for the number of aircraft that wet. so these efforts send up saving dollars and make us more efficient and i would argue more capable. >> and people is where the money is. how do you not end up with a hollowed force at the end of this? >> there's two parts to that. we're not going get bigger. we're 233,000 active duty at the moment. at the same time we have to be careful with our personnel cost and that is a concern for the department. right now our retention is quite good. and certainly the economy has to do with that. under the circumstances, do we need additional pay raises that
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we typically receive from the generous congress? >> somebody has to pay for it. >> it comes from elsewhere and trades elsewhere in the budget. >> part of the way when you talk about getting redid you redundantsies in the service, you were created as an independent air force to support all the services ultimately. you have predators. you have close air support aircraft and the arm semigetting the same predator that you're getting. why is the army allowed to expand and the platform that is yours isn't it? >> there's some racing nal for having focused support for certain activities in each of the services. the navy has some tanker capability tactical, primely but we provide the vast majority of the tanker
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capability and they would not have it any other way. the army has some means for remotely controlled aircraft. >> air force loss acquisition authority for a couple of reasons. when do you expect to get that authority back? >> in fact, we have, the secretary of defense gave the authority back for the new tanker program. and with space acquisition, that too is part of the possible that is unfolding. so the bottom line is, secretary of defense has come to the conclusion that our acquisition improvement efforts have become mature enough to we're ready to get back in the middle of the program and we'll demonstrate that. >> when do you expect to get it all back and have full control over all of your programs? >> i think it's imminent is the bottom line. >> do you think that the
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decision that you're -- you're looking at bids from air bus and boeing for that program. do you expect the decision will make that will withstand scrutiny and protest? >> yes, absolutely. and here's the reality. we structured this acquisition strategy knowing full well that there might be a protest. and so this particular approach is -- does not have as much judgment in it as did the prior acquisition strategy. if we're challenged in a protest, i have good reason to believe that we'll be successful. >> let me take to you joint strike fighter. the program becomes more important now that you've lost the f44 f22 program. where are with the contract and what does it do to the air
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force? >> air spleen not just important to the air force. it's important to the navy and marine corps. this is about tactical of a evaluation for the best air forces in the world. but a key point, to give you a quick summary, my sense is that, at least on our aircraft, the conventional takeoff aircraft, the program is ac sell operate. the test -- accelerating. it has not experienced a structural failure. software stability is much improved. it's getting better. and with respect to lot four, we're going to close on lot four in a matter of weeks and that's important. i agree. and it appears that it will come in underneath the estimate that is promise. >> i think is promising for all. let me ask you about the bomber. you spent a lot of time about
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what the future aircraft is supposed to look like. your current force is ageinginging, even the b2 isaging. what is the future of it? >> it is a part of a familily of systems. we believe that the country will need a opinion traitinging capability and it might not be the stand alone wolf capability that perhaps we imagined before. so we may take it from all fours or targeting data from another source, not necessarily on board sensors. it will be apenetratinging capability and it will have some measure of stealth. it will have some sensors and it will be able to deliver. >> manned and nuclear? >> i call optional manned that we will design so that it can go either way and it will have the capability of be certified for nuclear capability but
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probably not at the outset. general schwartz dauphin counties about his vision for the united states air force. stay tuned. [ man ] i was deciding what to do
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[ male announcer ] use your citi thankyou points for almost anything, even local charities. what's your story? citi can help you write it. we're back with general schwartz, chief of staff air force. sir, what is your vision as you look out 10 years, what you want the united states air force what is your vision what you want the united states air force to look like? >> there are five fundemental things that we do that will shape our configuration. one is control. that is exerting control over air and space so that other members of the joint team can operate freely and without difficulty from bad actions and second is -- and third air fueling and the final thing is global strike.
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that the capability to keep targets wherever they may be on the planet at risk and the reality is that other adversaries currently are building air defense systems, not because they want to but because they feel valuablability from us. >> do you think there will be regular warfare as some suggest -- i think it could be possible. so we have to reality we're in a fight now that has certain chick ticks and we have to adapt to make sure that we prevail. but do i not think that we can mortgage the future completely just with the fight that we're currently engaged in. >> buzzing circle is that the air force lost its voice and capability and flexibility and future role. how do you respond to that?
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>> i think fundamentally the ground forces that we're in ascending that is not a threat to us. for all of us need to take a deep breath. and our time will come. >> do you think that the air force is totally out of dog house now with the senior pentagon liter areship? >> it's a day by day thing. but i think we're trusted. we're respected for precision and reliability and we have to earn that again every day. >> how do you respond to and air force man, ask him about join stop jobs. none of the top 11 jobs was held by a airmen. how do you spun -- by a airman.
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how do you respond to that? >> we will continue to recommend to the chairman strong plashings the best we have. -- straining players, the best that we have and certainly our situation will improve. >> when do you think this is going to star bearing fruit? >> we have outputs required due to the kdr, formal outputs to the department and gary and i are going to the detail at the moment. the key thing is that this is what we're going to be about in the future, is the air force and may have i didn't operating in access to the nine environments and our capacity to do that will matter to the country. >> are you going to become the
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next vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff? >> i think that is an example of not very good reporting frankly, and pure speculation. and trust me, it's not in the cards. >> does the air force, given how big it is, do you need a command? >> no. the dilemma of organizing that way is that you separate them from all the integrated activity that we try to do. what we're about is integrating them as a combat capability and i think we succeeded in that. >> sir, thank you very much. coming up why congress must approve changes to the u.s. expert system.
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president obama proposed his latest steps to re for the u.s. export control system to boost ex d impr president obama proposed the latest thought about improving export. governorgovernment goods that need stringent licenses would be amended. saving paperwork and costs for the government and the suppliers. the commerce department would oversee more exports of lower end systems only leaving complex systems to the state department and a more rigorous process. and now congress must approve the changes that is no sure
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thing. after u.s. satellite makers transferred sensitive data to china in the 1990s, they made it so hard that they lost sales in satellite sales. two years ago the white house and congress agreed to interpret existing regulations to no longer require military licenses for military components. it will help save money and boost u.s. exports and help u.s. allies get the technology that they need. thanks for joining us in this week's defense news. till next time, have a great week. my "me time" is when i thought i parked on level 2.
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or maybe 8? my "me time" is when there's a 10% chance of rain!
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